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Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S: camera comparison

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Apple iPhone 4S: camera comparison
Guess what – you'll soon be able to read our Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review on the site, but until we're fully ready with it, we thought we could make the waiting a bit easier for you by presenting you with a nice camera comparison featuring the Galaxy Nexus and its arch-rival, the iPhone 4S. Who is better equipped to out-shoot the other? Let's take a look at the samples we took and see!

In terms of detail levels, we find the 8MP snapper of the iPhone 4S to perform a bit better than the 5MP one that's installed on the Galaxy Nexus. Rest assured that we aren't basing our opinion on the count of megapixels alone, we examined the shots very carefully. This doesn't mean that the Nexus is bad, actually both handsets perform admirably, but the iPhone 4S manages to edge it slightly.

The situation with color reproduction looks somewhat familiar, as we've now gotten used to the different approaches that both manufacturers have in this respect. On one hand, we have the oversaturated, yet well-balanced colors of the iPhone 4S. It's photos do look very appealing, however, those taken with the Galaxy Nexus turned out a tad more natural-looking. All in all, the two phones perform similarly, with the iPhone 4S opting for some warmer and vivider tones.

Exposure is better handled by the iPhone 4S. Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus produces images that are a bit overexposed at times, which eliminates some details in the scene. When it comes to macro shots, we're perfectly happy with how both handsets managed to accurately focus on the near object, and nicely blur the background. With a little creativity, you'll be able to produce some amazingly-looking photos with the Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples

Apple iPhone 4S

Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples
Apple iPhone 4SOutdoor samples

Apple iPhone 4S
Outdoor samples


When we moved indoors to check how our smartphone cameras perform in lower-light conditions, we noticed that both managed to come up with some pretty tolerable pictures when shooting in situations with a strong light-source. However, once we started dimming the lights, the Nexus quickly started to lose quality. Naturally, the images from the iPhone 4S started to lose quality as well, remained more tolerable, especially in the color department. Obviously, the LED flash of the 4S did a better job as well.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Strong - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples
Medium - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples
Low light - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples
Darkness with flash - Apple iPhone 4SIndoor samples

Strong

Medium

Low light

Darkness with flash

Apple iPhone 4S
Indoor samples


To tell you the truth, we're a bit underwhelmed by the video we shot with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Yeah, it's 1080p and all, but it's a bit choppy at 24 fps, which isn't something that we normally expect to see in a contemporary smartphone of this class. In contrast, the iPhone 4S's video is buttery smooth, and manages to present us with significantly more details. The sound capture is also clearer with the iPhone 4S.

Samsung GALAXY Nexus Sample Video:



Apple iPhone 4S Sample Video:



Samsung GALAXY Nexus Indoor Sample Video:



Apple iPhone 4S Indoor Sample Video:




That's all for now, folks, but be sure to stay tuned for our full Samsung Galaxy Nexus Review, which will be up soon!

32 Comments
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posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:01 3

1. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


come on dont compare 5mp to a 8mp...

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:06 27

3. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


Image Quality not= pixel density
The Galaxy Nexus can still compete with its great optics.

Megapixels don't fully determine the image quality. Whats the use of a 20MP camera if ur hands are shaking and lens suck?

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:16 8

4. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


yeah.. i guess your right...

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 10:49

15. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


great optics? In nexus? Come on.
And you're wrong. More mpx means better quality. Not always, but stop repeating that more mpx=s**t.

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 19:57 3

27. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)


idiot

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:58 7

11. Birds (Posts: 1022; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


If they don\'t review the GNex in the next 10 minutes, I\'m committing suicide.

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 11:10 1

20. Dmw034 (Posts: 8; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)


promise?

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 11:19 2

22. sadaivadai (Posts: 156; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


RIP ...

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 12:02 2

24. TheEclectic (Posts: 77; Member since: 23 Sep 2009)


Why not? The iPhone 3GS' 3MP camera was better than the Motorola Droid's 5MP camera - quality of images has more to do with the quality of the sensor than megapixels alone.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 20:07

29. winsaki234 (Posts: 63; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


apple fanboy?

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:04 8

2. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


Galaxy Nexus more natural. 4s more vibrant. Both are the best I've seen, so I guess it's up to personal preference left.

Time lapse and other feature is a plus though. Nexus for me.

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:25 2

7. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


oh btw who has the best phone camera today???

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 11:05 16

18. bbblader (Posts: 581; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


Nokia dude

posted on 27 Nov 2011, 08:40

31. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 863; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


You need to see a Nokia N8.

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:18 7

5. shifu (Posts: 44; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


I\'m sorry this wasn\'t enough to hold me..........Nexus now please!

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:25

6. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


hahaha.... XD
it isnt available yet...

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:32

9. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


congrats.... its gonna be released nov 29

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:25 6

8. bucky (Posts: 1558; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


I\'ll say it, nexus got trumped in the camera department. Has other strengths thoufg

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 09:38 2

10. shifu (Posts: 44; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


If you wanna take photos get an SLR! 5-8MP is enough for good quick pop n snap and upload to post. Its about Ram, cpu, gpu, screen, batt, and 1 Software(ring) to run(rule) them all.


Extra features are the few French Fries you find at the bottom of the Mc donald bag........Yum!

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 10:54 2

16. bucky (Posts: 1558; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Good points but a great looking camera you can depend on is a must for me! I find I take more pics with my sgs2 than my slr nowadays!

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 10:12 1

12. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Still think zero shutter should be optional setting and have a normal mode

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 10:26 2

13. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


For the price they had to pump more the camera hardware department (zeiss lens for example) , however I'd like to see the front camera comparison - probably there the nexus wins the match as it's said it's capable of 720p recording^^

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 12:58 1

26. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


Geez, if you try to be objective they nuke you down with thumbs...and I also praised the 0 shutter lag. Not being objective it's a step forward to the sheep ecosystem and right previously there was an article regarding the loyalty...too many ppl judge an item by its hype.

The best aim for the bestselling companies is to subjugate the users with hype so they don't need to improve their devices at all, just some "magic" words and it's done.

I'm an android user, but still think that the nexus may be overpriced if compared to other android handsets rocking similar features if not better. Now you can get a sgs2 for 350€...

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 10:47 1

14. rawdeal (Posts: 21; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


i dont have to read the article to come to what is iphonearenas conclusion...its an apple product n noway would phonearena go against this...

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 10:55 5

17. bucky (Posts: 1558; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


The pics are there for you to cm stop being such a fanboy...

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 11:10 2

19. robinrisk (unregistered)


What images are they looking at? I just took 3 people from work, without telling them the phones in question and they ALL took the Samsung Galaxy Nexus photos as the best ones!

Plus, it takes photos instantly! The nexus camera's way better.

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 11:14 1

21. robinrisk (unregistered)


Never mind, in our work computer you see the pictures zoomed in and the details look better on the nexus, but if you see the whole picture, then the iPhone comes up ahead in most shots.

Pretty balanced out, anyways.

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 12:32 4

25. bucky (Posts: 1558; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


The sgs2 takes better pics than the galaxy nexus. The iphone takes better pics than the sgs2.

Its not even that close between these two. Sorry. I know your obviously getting this phone and obviously bias but this is a camera comparison and it loses.

posted on 25 Nov 2011, 11:28 2

23. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 258; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


Still the best camera is the one that can capture the moment: 0 shutter lag is a big achievement, no more people that must hold the smile for endless seconds :-P

Or capture a bird that flies away, a girl passing by, a car that goes 200 km/h. A great step forward in mobile photography and it's being undervalued. Apple would merchandise a lot better this feature: as revolutionary and magic, I must say it hehe :)

Apple commercial for 0 shutter lag:

Capture the best moment of your life

Don't miss the smile of your love

Don't miss any moment anymore...

Be iphone with zero shutter lag.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 09:40

28. cfprelude (Posts: 119; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


@evil sanz.... I'm confused, are u pitching the nexus (with zero lag) commercial or iPhone (with near zero lag)? I agree this is one of the biggest points for cell phones and why I honestly think ics 4.0 is such a difference maker for android.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 22:17

30. seansk (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)


Has anyone seen the HTC Amaze, it has a wider angle lense f/2.2 vs iphones f/2.4 and also a backside illuminated sensor and takes much better photos than the iphone 4s. I have an amaze it takes amazing pictures

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 16:04

33. daiyen (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)


So I've got a question. First off, everyone says that the iPhone's camera is tops. It is therefore moot to ask which is best. How about a comparison with another top Verizon android, the Moto Razr? Which one of those is better? I'm still rocking the Droid 1, so are these new ones leaps and bounds better in quality or just marginally better?

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